Many business owners believe that acquisition is the most important thing. Initially, that may be true; without customers, you don't have a flourishing business. However, customer retention is just as necessary (if not more) than acquisition. 60-80% of satisfied customers don't go back to the company they were happy with. Why? Because there's a disconnect between company and customer. Engaging with and maintaining good relationships with your customers (both new and old) is what will truly make your company thrive. One loyal customer will "cost" less than acquiring several more; they have a higher lifetime value. Building repeat business may seem like a daunting task, though. To help you out, here are some tactics on how to do it.
Don't Just Focus on Price
Yes, you need to price your products competitively, but that's just one part of the equation to get customers to buy. If you only focus on price, consumers still may choose your competitors. It would help if you had other added value (such as a better guarantee or return policy) to motivate them to pick you instead. You should also offer packaged services for better value. This can also get customers hooked on your service, which will make it more difficult for them to choose your competitors after the package has ended. Instead, they'll consider renewing with you.
Make Buying Easier
If the customer journey is too hard, consumers won't be motivated to purchase your product or service. Put yourself in their shoes and go through the buying process. Please make a note of anything that's not intuitive and fix it. If your invoice for your services, then make sure they're clear. It should be easy to find what was done, what parts were used, and how long the labor took.
Capture Their Data
In your web store, encourage customers to create an account with you for quicker checkout in the future. Once you capture their data and build a customer base, you can engage with them on your terms. You can then use this valuable information to stay in touch and stay top of mind. You can send out newsletters and alerts about sales, as well as personalized communication for their birthdays (include a coupon or gift!).
Offer New but Related Products
To encourage repeat business, you need to offer more products or services that'll add value to the ones your existing customers already have. For example, you can come out with both new and spin-off products to encourage them to make a repeat purchase. They'll appreciate that you have their needs in mind.
Use Special Packaging
Your product packaging can add a special touch to the customer experience. A bowtie here and a handwritten card there can upgrade their experience with your brand. Combine that with cheap (or free) shipping that's quick, and you'll be a lot more memorable than your competition. This is a great way to get repeat customers.
Reach out Through Different Channels
Employing an omnichannel strategy can be a great way to reach loyal customers. These channels include letters, brochures, phone calls, emails, and social media. Social media is a particularly powerful way to get involved with customers, as engaging posts will facilitate conversations. All of the above are excellent for showing that your brand is personable, personal, responsive, and empathetic. You can also use these channels to send out reminders to use your service again, such as with dental appointments or HVAC maintenance.
Offer a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage growth in a small business. Rewards programs drive customers to keep coming back, as they have something to work towards. For example, you can give them a small gift or discount when they rack up a certain amount of points. On that note, you should also offer a refer-a-friend program. You can offer some incentives for every x amount of customers they refer to, such as $5 off their next purchase.
Give out Coupons for Future Use
Another way to motivate a great customer to come back is to give out coupons for future use. When they make their initial purchase, include a card for $5 or 10% off their next purchase. This can make all the difference in them choosing you or your competition.
Give Them Some Free Items
On that note, you should also give your customers some freebies! Items like pens, stress balls, and stickers don't cost very much, and they can show your appreciation to your loyal customers. Even small ticket items can make them feel valued. Plus, free merchandise helps keep you top of mind. Whenever they use that pen, they'll see your brand name. And the next time they need something you carry, you can bet they'll think of you first!
Make Your Customer Service Personalized
96% of consumers say customer service plays a vital role in their brand loyalty. So make sure your customer service is as excellent and personalized as can be. Make use of all channels, such as live chat, help desk, email, phone calls, and social media. When repeat customers reach out, your agents need to know that these are people who are familiar with your brand. If the customers feel recognized and valued when using your customer services, they'll be more inclined to stay loyal to you.
Always Test and Measure Everything
No company has their business model down to a T. All the big names are continually testing, measuring, and tweaking everything. Consumers are fickle, so you need to know how to adapt to their changing opinions. Conduct surveys and have feedback forms available. You'll also need to check how your ads, loyalty programs, and engagement over various channels are going. That way, you can see what is keeping your customers with you. You can tweak your strategies for better marketing ROI and customer retention.
Stick to Building Repeat Business to See Your Business Grow
As you can see, there are numerous methods for building repeat business. You don't have to use them all, but instead, choose the ones that'll keep your existing customers from going anywhere else. Want to get a good picture of how your business is doing online? Get a free informal business report that shows you how to take your business to the next level!